As universal as they are, we all have unique preferences when it comes to burgers. Purists advocate the joys of beef on a bun with tomato, lettuce and onion, while modern gourmands are all about experimenting with toppings – from fried egg and bacon rashers to avo and beetroot. If your mouths are watering, you might want to try some of our favourites…
(Please note: We advise you to contact the restaurant before arriving to make sure the special is still valid, and has not expired.)
1. Bree Street Burger, Weinhaus + Biergarten
What is it 200g free-range beef served with bacon, colby cheese, pickles and butter lettuce.
What we love The authentic beer-garden atmosphere, the cool street-facing outdoor area and the lekker live music.
X-factor Great beer (it was formerly &Union, known for its top-notch craft beer offering).
When Tuesday – Thursday, 3pm – 12am
Friday, 12pm – 12am
Saturday, 3pm – 12am
Contact 021 422 2770, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Weinhaus & Biergarten, 110 Bree Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
2. Cheese Burger, Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room
Image credit: Cape Town My Love
What is it A special blend of grass-fed cuts (from Bill Riley Family Butchers) topped with Underberger cheese and served on a buttery brioche, with your choice of fries or salad.
What we love The diner decor and street-scene vibe (if you’re not a fan of hipsters and skater kids, steer clear); the side order of twice fried fries served with aioli (an extra R40).
X-factor The brioche bun, whose slightly sweet flavour complements the meat perfectly.
When 7am – 5pm (Monday)
7am – 10:30 pm (Tuesday – Friday)
8am – 4pm (Saturday)
8am – 3pm (Sunday)
Contact 021 424 7648, email@example.com
Location Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room, 133 Bree Street, Cape Town
3. Wagyu Burger, The Butcher Man
What is it 200g of prime-cut wagyu beef, imported from Gauteng and aged in-house, topped with pickled cucumbers and house-made mayo, and served with French fries and coleslaw.
What we love The all-in-one butchery-and-burger joint. Customers get to choose their own cut of beef from the cooler, which can be taken home, or eaten on site at one of the street-facing tables overlooking Green Point’s main drag.
X-factor It’s a carnivore’s paradise down here, so leave your vegetarian friends at the door. The deli and biltong bar is the pepper sauce on the top (for want of a better metaphor).
When Daily, 9am – 9pm
Contact 021 434 1111, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The Butcher Man, 105 Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town
4. Chef Rudi’s Classic Super Beef Burger, Mount Nelson Planet Bar
What is it Chef Rudi’s “Rolls-Royce” burger is a 200gm 100% pure beef burger patty specially prepared from a secret mix of various beef cuts combined with chopped parsley, Dijon mustard and salt and basted with Chef Rudi’s own secret basting sauce. The hotel is renowned for its bread-making and the in-house toasted sesame bun is the perfect vehicle for the burger, which is topped with mature cheddar, pickled cucumber, tomato, lettuce, tomato chutney and sautéed onion. This is accompanied by a choice of deliciously crisp fries or potato wedges and a side salad or coleslaw. At R135, it’s pricey, but you’d have to travel far to find a top-class, luxury burger that compares.
What we love The Planet Bar’s stylish galaxy-themed decor with quirky touches and comfy couches is perfect for a late-night, after theatre/movie, bite – and if the weather’s good, sit out on lovely terrace and watch the celestial or mortal stars passing by – you never know who you might spot. This is a wonderful venue for people-watching and although the hotel won’t admit it, we know that Sean Penn and Charlize Theron were regulars on their recent trip to Cape Town, while they were filming in and around the city.
X-factor On occasion, Chef Rudi can be persuaded to make extra large burgers, as he did for the 10 members of the Burger Boys Club who meet regularly – and all raved about the giant burgers they were served – at around R150 each!
When Monday – Sunday 11am – 10.30pm
Contact 021 483 1000
Location The Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
5. Classic Royale, Royale Eatery
What is it 160g pure beef patty basted in Royale’s special sauce, topped with aioli, lettuce, tomato, caramelised onion and gherkins, and served with salad, potato or sweet-potato fries.
Cost R73 (single), R99 (double)
What we love The vibe. You have to order a shake to go with your burger – they range from the more conventional flavours (like Choc Brownie), to those with a bit more edge (the Jack Daniels and Peanut Butter, and you can definitely taste the Jack)
X-factor Royale’s sauces are tang-tastic: have your burger with the house basting sauce or a go for the delicious homemade tomato relish.
When Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 11:30pm
Contact 021 422 4536
Location Royale Eatery, 273 Long Street, Cape Town
6. The Straight Ace, Redemption Burgers
What is it A 200g handmade beef patty, topped with organic cheddar, homemade tomato relish, gherkins, and sweet mustard mayo. Simple, yet effective. More exotic options include the Flimsy Gypsy (an ostrich burger topped with creamy brie cheese, marinated tomatoes and fresh roasted garlic mayo) and the El Borracho Mexicano (dressed with homemade jalapeño mayo and topped with organic cheddar, chilli salsa and guacamole). They also make a damn fine veggie burger.
Cost R80 for the Straight Ace Burger, served with fries.
What we love The unpretentious and friendly vibe, which is reflected in the homegrown ingredients used to craft the tasty burgers. It’s got a premium location too, tucked away in a corner of the increasingly fashionable Old Biscuit Mill, making it a refreshingly laid-back locale, considering some of the high-minded establishments it shares space with. The place gets especially buzzy on Saturdays, when the Old Biscuit Mill hosts the Neighbourgoods Market. The wood-floored outdoor seating area provides some respite from the crowds, and with a beer in hand, it’s tempting to just sit there all day, watching people pile up around the various stalls.
X-factor The crispy fries come with additional flavour thanks to Redemption Burgers’ special seasoning, made in-house. Whatever it is, it works. They also stock a range of authentic craft beers, including Fokof Lager (product of Afrikaans rock band Fokofpolisiekar)
Good to know Though burgers are their passion, the restaurant also offers breakfast options (up until 12pm), coffee and sandwiches; and they stock liquor.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am till late
Contact 079 476 3648, email@example.com
Where to find it Block B, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock
TIG Reviewer Matthew Flax
7. The Classic Burger, Loading Bay
What is it 100% grass-fed pasture-reared beef, served with truffle-salted fries or fresh greens.
Cost R68 (add bacon for R18)
What we love The truffle-salted fries (and, are we allowed to say this, owner JP Bolus’s smile).
X-factor The first-grade meat from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants.
When 7:30am – 5pm (Monday – Friday)
8:30am – 4pm (Saturday)
9am – 2pm (Sunday)
Contact 021 425 6321, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Loading Bay, De Waterkant, Cape Town
8. Old School 1950s Mega Slider, Dog’s Bollocks
Image credit: Travelstart.co.za
What is it A beef patty topped with melted cheddar, caramelised onion, fresh lettuce, slice of tomato and a selection of sauces. Fries are included
What we love The make-shift vibe (it’s in a driveway-cum-garage); proprietor Nigel Wood’s dry humour and no-frills approach (no waitrons, no cutlery) and, of course, the limited-edition burgers. Only 50 burgers are made each night and once they’ve been snapped up, that’s it. However, you can order ribs, chicken wings and nachos off the menu.
X-factor It’s a real hidden gem.
When Monday to Friday, 7am – 4pm, 5pm – 10:30pm
Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 4pm, 5pm – 10:30 pm
Contact 082 885 5719 (Megan), 083 440 7843 (Nigel), email@example.com
Location Dog’s Bollocks, 6 Roodehek Street, Gardens
9. Mortimer, Ragafellows
What is it A beef patty with red wine, beef short rib, topped with blue cheese crumbs and onions, and served with your choice of smashed new potatoes or salad.
What we love The steampunk-themed decor makes for a unique setting to enjoy burgers that are juicy and full of flavour.
X-factor There’s something for everyone with meat, vegetarian and Banting burgers available. The restaurant is famous for its lamb shanks and some delightful desserts, such as the sesame-seed biscuit chocolate cake and the chocolate ice-cream sandwich with hazelnuts and honey biscuit.
When Monday – Thursday, 6pm – 10pm
Friday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 790 8955, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Ragafellows, Main Road, Hout Bay
10. Classic American Burger, Jakes
Image Credit: Food Blog
What is it A 200g handmade patty topped with mature cheddar, chipotle mayo, thick-cut gherkins and onion rings. Served with skinny fries.
What we love The juiciness of the extra-thick patties.
X-factor Its unashamed go-big-or-go-home presentation (it’s American, after all); the spicy kick of the chipotle mayo.
When Monday – Saturday, 9:30am – 10.30pm
Sunday 9:30am – 3:30pm
Contact 021 701 3272, email@example.com
Location Jakes on Summerley, 5 Summerley Road, Upper Kenilworth
11. Ostrich burger, Engruna
What is it 180 – 200g ostrich patty, topped with guacamole, cheddar and tomato relish on a (Knead Bakery) sesame seed bun. Have it with hand-cut sweet potato or regular potato chips, or a mix of both.
What we love Engruna’s burgers are renowned for their juiciness; they drip with goodness from first bite to last. A gluten-free bun substitute is available for the Banters at an extra cost.
X-factor If it’s variety you’re looking for, look no further; the choice will impress even the most demanding burgermeister. If not ostrich, opt for beef, pulled pork, lamb, chicken, fish, vegetarian or vegan, with mouth-watering topping combinations too numerous to list.
When Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10.30pm
Contact 021 433 0789, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Engruna Eatery, 343 Main Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
12. Cheeseburger, Mondiall
What is it 200g patty of locally reared wagyu beef, with a serving of fries and topped with umami ketchup.
What we love Everything about the Mondiall experience is delicious!
X-factor The dollop of umami ketchup on top of the patty and, of course, the quality of the wagyu meat.
When 10am – 4pm (Monday to Friday, brunch)
6:30pm – 10pm (dinner)
Contact 021 418 3003, email@example.com
Location Mondiall Kitchen & Bar, V&A Waterfront
13. The Ultimate Mex-Tex, Gibson’s
What is it A sizeable burger topped with cheddar cheese, jalapeño and guacamole, served with nachos, salsa and sour cream.
What we love With its new location at the V&A Waterfront overlooking the working harbour, Gibson’s now has more space and better views, along with the usual diverse array of burger choices. The Mexican-inspired toppings ensure this burger is full of flavour (and big enough to get past any Donald Trump-erected wall).
X-factor The handspun thick milkshakes make a fine accompaniment, with a range of flavours including blueberry and cinnamon doughnut.
When Daily, 11:30am – 11pm
Contact 087 357 3465, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Gibsons Gourmet Burger & Ribs, V&A Waterfront
14. Jack D, Jerry’s
What is it A 100-percent pure beef burger basted in a sticky Jack Daniels sauce with caramelised onions and crisp bacon. (The B.A.F – bacon, avo and feta – came in a close second.)
What we love The patties are made according to a secret mince recipe, with no eggs or bread crumbs. And contrary to many other burger joints, the price includes a generous portion of fries: thin, shoe-stringy perfection.
X-factor The mouthwatering patties are served on gorgeous brioche buns. Tangy sauces such as chipotle mayo and mustard mayo are made in-house from scratch.
When Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 2am
Contact 021 447 8554
Location Jerry’s Burger Bar, 123 Lower Main Road, Observatory
15. Caprice Burger, Café Caprice
What is it 100% pure beef basted in barbeque sauce, topped with beer-battered onion rings and served with fries.
What we love The setting – in the thick of the Camps Bay Strip. Although it attracts the glam squad, its beach-facing location make it quite chilled
X-factor The onion rings – a mini meal in themselves – add texture, crunch and flavour.
When Daily, 9am – late
Contact 021 438 8315, email@example.com
Location Cafe Caprice, 37 Victoria Road, Camps Bay
16. Bacon and Melting-Cheese Burger, The Slug & Lettuce, Durbanville
What is it A 200g hand-pressed South African beef patty garnished with tomato, onion, greens, finished off with onion rings and served with fries.
What we love The generous amount of melting cheese and bacon – you’ll leave satisfied.
When Daily, 10am – 10pm
Contact 021 976 8705, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The Slug & Lettuce, Heritage Square, Vrede Street, Durbanville
17. The Colossus, Woodies
What is it A burger so big, it has its own hashtag! Four 100g beef patties (or two chicken fillets) with mozzarella, cheddar, lettuce, onions, tomato and gherkins. Hashtag: yum!
What we love Burgers start at R25 and there are nine to choose from – all available in either a hand-pressed pure ground-beef patty or chicken fillet. Plus, everything on the menu is halaal.
X-factor The Woodies experience is not what you might expect at the V&A. You’ll find it upstairs at the V&A Market on the Wharf. Grab a seat at one of the tables in the food court and wait for your name to be called to collect your order. If it’s a nice day, take your food and sit at one of the outdoor tables. Your traditional hand-cut chips (R15 extra) come in a styrofoam cup, the biggest burger you’ve ever seen on a paper plate and, finally, expect to use the heap of napkins provided – it’s hard to keep things together!
When Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6pm
Contact 079 125 7228, email@example.com
Location Woodies, V&A Food Market on the Wharf (upstairs)
Find out what else there is to do in Cape Town besides chowing on burgers.